I have a scoop-ette out this morning. The news—that the House of Representatives will hold hearings next Wednesday on consolidation in the food industry leading to food price hikes—anchors a broader feature. Antitrust enforcement has been insufficient for decades, and the food industry is a prime example of the consequences.
Mergers and acquisitions have swept the food industry in recent years, making fewer and fewer players responsible for feeding a growing country and sparking concern over the fairness of price hikes. The biggest consolidation has been in beef, where four companies now control 85% of the U.S. market. Four pork and chicken companies supply 70% and 54% of their respective markets, while the number of supermarket chains has fallen by nearly one third in the past three decades, with four companies responsible for more than two thirds of sales.
I hope you rest and reflect this upcoming Martin Luther King